Few films arrive with as much internet fanfare as this one – and less still that are made for so few pennies. Director Timo Vuorensolas and his merry band of cine-rebels have set out to make a studio-quality picture outside the studios (although Disney have picked up distribution). So did they succeed? If by studio picture, you mean big, loud and stupid – then well yes, but they can’t be penalised for that because big, loud and stupid was clearly their intention. If you make a film about Nazis who at the close of the Second World War sought refuge on the dark side of the moon in order to eventually return in 2018 and occupy the entire planet, well – if you’re not playing that for laughs, you’re misguided. To that end, where many films lose their way, Iron Sky knows what it is: a goofball farce that remains so throughout.
During the opening reel, the sheer audacity and absurdity of the concept had me giggling heartily. I grew hopeful, not only for my continued enjoyment, but for this little film lovingly crafted over SIX years by genuine Finnish fanboys rather than cynical studio execs. Udo Kier, moon Nazis, space battles and Sarah Palin? What could possibly go wrong? To be perfectly honest, the cracks didn’t appear in the form of a limited budget: more a limit of wit.
Some sly observations about geopolitics and playful ribbing of the USA’s foreign policy aside, the humour is derivative and classroom crappy. Some jokes, many of which are centred around the ethnicity of an African-American astronaut (Kirby) are outdated and toe-curlingly cringe-worthy. The space battles are truly impressive, but outstanding homemade CGI does not a great film make.
Thus, Iron Sky has proved that the studio system has its uses; this script would likely have seen a few more drafts before getting greenlit. As it is, Vuorensolas goose-stepped out of obscurity and right into the cine-scheisse. Not to knock the monumental achievement of assembling this huge production, but just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
Iron Sky (11)
Dir: Timo Vuorensolas;
Fin/Aus/ Ger action/com; 2012, 93 mins;
Julia Dietze, Götz Otto, Christopher Kirby, Peta Sergeant
Premiered: April 19
Playing: Palads, CinemaxX, Empire Bio